Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pancreatic Cancer Fights Off Immune Attack

Date:
September 3, 2007
Source:
Helmholtz Association
Summary:
Scientists have discovered that pancreatic cancer attracts regulatory T cells, which suppress the activity of immune cells. In this way, the tumor might escape its destruction by the immune system. The ability to discriminate between friend and foe or between "self" and "foreign" is vital for a functioning immune system. There are numerous protective mechanisms at work to save the body's own tissue from attacks by misguided immune cells. A pivotal role is played by regulatory T cells (Treg cells), which prevent immune reactions against the body's own structures by suppressing the aggressiveness of particular immune cells called T helper cells.

Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum) and the Heidelberg University Hospitals have discovered that pancreatic cancer attracts regulatory T cells, which suppress the activity of immune cells. In this way, the tumor might escape its destruction by the immune system.

The ability to discriminate between friend and foe or between “self“ and “foreign” is vital for a functioning immune system. There are numerous protective mechanisms at work to save the body’s own tissue from attacks by misguided immune cells. A pivotal role is played by regulatory T cells (Treg cells), which prevent immune reactions against the body’s own structures by suppressing the aggressiveness of particular immune cells called T helper cells.

Malignant tumors actively attract Treg cells and, thus, slow down immune defense to protect themselves against elimination. This is suggested by results just published by Associate Professor Dr. Philipp Beckhove jointly with colleagues from the German Cancer Research Center in collaboration with Professor Jürgen Weitz, Dr. Hubertus Schmitz-Winnenthal and other colleagues from the Heidelberg University Hospitals.

In tissue samples of pancreatic cancer the researchers found a much higher number of Treg cells than in samples obtained from regions of the organ that were not affected by cancer. For other immune cells, such as T helper cells, they found no such differences.

Cells of the immune system, including regulatory T cells, are called to their site of action by specific “address molecules“ on the surface of blood vessel cells (endothelial cells). The presence of address molecules is the signal for immune cells patrolling in the bloodstream to squeeze through the vessel wall in order to enter the adjacent tissue.

Beckhove and colleagues have shown that Treg cells easily pass through a layer of endothelial cells isolated from tumor tissue. If, however, the endothelial cells originate from healthy tissue, then a significantly lower number of Treg cells make their way through the layer of cells. The researchers also discovered why this is so: Endothelial cells from tumor tissue carry significantly more address molecules on their surface than vessel cells from healthy regions of the pancreas. When the investigators made these adresses invisible using specific antibodies, the Treg accumulation in the tumor tissue was stopped.

“Treatment possibilities for pancreatic carcinoma, in particular, are still insufficient. Specific antibodies preventing the accumulation of Treg cells in the tumor and, thus, strengthening immune defense, might be a useful therapeutic option,” says Phillip Beckhove to explain the relevance of these results.

The task of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg (German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ) is to systematically investigate the mechanisms of cancer development and to identify cancer risk factors. The results of this basic research are expected to lead to new approaches in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Center is financed to 90 percent by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and to 10 percent by the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e.V.).

Daniel Nummer, Elisabeth Suri-Payer, Hubertus Schmitz-Winnenthal, Andreas Bonertz, Luis Galindo, Dalibor Antolovich, Moritz Koch, Markus Büchler, Jürgen Weitz, Volker Schirrmacher, Philipp Beckhove: Role of Tumor Endothelium in CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T Cell Infiltration of Human Pancreatic Carcinoma. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, volume 99 (15), page 1188, 2007


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Helmholtz Association. "Pancreatic Cancer Fights Off Immune Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831201556.htm>.
Helmholtz Association. (2007, September 3). Pancreatic Cancer Fights Off Immune Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831201556.htm
Helmholtz Association. "Pancreatic Cancer Fights Off Immune Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831201556.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins